Knowing the EMB-312 Tucano

It is a known thing for countries like the Philippines, Brazil, and even the US that were looking for these propeller-based aircraft such as the EMB-314 Super Tucano planes for close-air support and training. But let us dwell more on its predecessor and as well the aircraft it is based on - the EMB-312 Tucano.


A primary source is cached. You may see it at this archived link.

Developed by EMBRAER of Brazil in response to a Brazilian Air Force specification for a replacement for the Cessna T-37. First flown in August 1980. The first of 133 ordered by the Brazilian Air Force was delivered beginning September 1983. 

Was designed from the outset to provide a "jet-like" flying experience with jet-plane type controls, ejection seats, and a staggering tandem-place cockpit. Can carry up to 2,205 lbs. of ordnance in four underwing hardpoints. 

Egypt ordered 143 Tucanos in 1983, of which 80 were diverted to Iraq. Other deliveries include Argentina(30), Columbia(14), Honduras(12), Iran(25), Paraguay(5), Peru(30), Venezuela(31), France (80 modified variant). In 1985 the British Royal Air Force selected a modified Tucano to fulfill its trainer requirement. The RAF Tucano is a license manufactured by Shorts in Belfast and has a more powerful engine and different systems than the standard EMBRAER-built version. 

In 1991 EMBRAER announced the EMB-312H Super Tucano with an uprated Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68/1 engine. The Brazilian Air Force was expected to order 50 armed single-seat versions of the Super Tucano, designated EMBRAER ALX. Up to 120 ALXs were expected to be ordered. The cost is about US$5 million each. 


For EMB-312H/ALX: 

- P&WC PT6A-68/1 turboprop engine (1,600 shp)
- Outstanding aeronautic performance
- Advanced man-machine interface
- Fighter-type pressurized cockpit
- Zero-zero ejection seats
- Onboard oxygen generating system (OBOGS)
- Rugged and reliable systems
- Reinforced structure with new generation materials

- Designed to sustain heavy damage and operate in hostile environments without ground support infrastructure.


Length: 32 ft. 4.25 in. 

Wingspan: 36 ft. 6.5 in. 

Top speed: 278 mph ("clean" at 10,000); 255 mph (maximum cruising speed at 10,000 ft.) 

Range: 2,069 miles ferry with external tanks, 1,145 miles with internal fuel. 

Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C (PT6A-68/1 for Super Tucano) 

Weight: 3,991 lbs empty, 7,000 lbs max. take off 

Ceiling: 35,000 feet 

Four underwing hardpoints for up to 2,205 lbs. of ordnance. The ALX has two wing-mounted 12.7 mm machine guns, five external stations and can carry a wide variety of weapons, including Mk.81 or Mk.82 low drag bombs, BLG-252 cluster bombs, IR air-to-air missiles like Sidewinder or MAA-1 Piranha, unguided rockets, 20-mm gun-pod on ventral station (GIAT NC621) and a FLIR pod.

Operators: Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, France, United Kingdom, Kenya, Kuwait.


Brazilian Air Force's Super Tucano. Source:
See details of the discussion in the Philippine Defense Forces Forum.

Across the defense outlets about the Philippine Military, it is known that the EMB-312H/314 Super Tucano is deemed the best bet over some other aircraft due to its well-known performance and is long proven in other armed forces. Though some may stick to the Textron Airland Scorpion jet, such planes will never get in the hands of the Philippine Air Force so as the doctrine where it must be operating in other countries before having one. 

The process of procurement is known to be taken now under G2G negotiation (based on DND procurement standards) where several representatives were sent to Brazil for the deal to be set (in which the Brazilian Government is included). This was after three bid failures where it can be blamed for the Embraer's failure to secure delivery time. Hence, that doesn't stop the company to keep negotiating with the Philippine authorities to have them. So as for the recent news, there are still no words coming out from legitimate sites regarding this matter. And it is make out uncertain a little bit when the President announced that propeller-based aircraft shall be acquired from either Russia or China. However, such pronouncements will never dismiss the idea that the Philippine has the possibility to have these planes, and that possibility is at 50:50 chance of success.

The reason for the bid failure.

The EMB-312 Tucano is one of the planes in the 1980s era where the Super Tucano, a modern version, derived from. These planes serve some excellent reputation to the countries that operate these aircraft particularly the Brazilian Air Force who have a huge inventory of it. For the Super Tucano, still a proudly Embraer S.A. Aircraft, it is a certainty that it will gain more reputation in the international spotlight where the Philippines may be included. It is certainly will improve Embraer's sales in the long run, but it is uncertain as to either Philippines get them, at what date, or not at all. But seriously, this is an ideal Close-Air Support aircraft there is, so to speak.

November 30 - December 1, 2017

Updates from various outlets such as Flight Global, IHS Janes, and even Embraer itself released a report confirming that the Philippine Air Force is firm on ordering A-29 or EMB-312 Super Tucano Close Air Support Aircraft which it will come at six units at the cost of around Php 4 Billion. 

Albeit that official outlets from PAF or DND isn't releasing their news about it, the previous reports given as well as these recent ones coming from reputable sources are deemed enough to say that the Philippines will finally have such aircraft that will complement its older OV-10s and SF-260s as well as armed helicopters like AW-109s with regards to Counter-Insurgency (COIN) operations. Delivery, in this case, is expected by the year 2019. Additional information was provided in the government-owned Philippine News Agency that the Notice to Proceed was already transmitted by the Department of National Defense to the Embraer, in which it made news by the defense company and several others. After all these things, the hopes and prayers that the Air Force having these aircraft are finally made true.

Given the archived article from Opus' website (inactive) giving suggestions for this aircraft for COIN operations more than a decade ago, it is only at the present date this report is given that such an idea may finally come true. Hence, this will eventually enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces as the modernization program rolls on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

more informative blog entries like this, Sir.

Very much appreciated.

Like the pictures in this entry.

More power to you Sir!


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